Douglas Adams

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DouglasAdams (who died May 11, 2001, aged 49, from a heart attack) is a British author mainly responsible and liable for a trilogy of books named HitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy. The ill-named trilogy of five consists of the following books: HitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy, RestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse, LifeTheUniverseAndEverything, SoLongAndThanksForAllTheFish, and MostlyHarmless.

It all started with a BBC Radio program with a sequel. Both have incredible sound effects and great imagery. Then it spun off two LPs, an event or two at London's Institute of Contemporary Art, and a TV series. Then came the books.

DouglasAdams also worked on the BBC series DoctorWho.

Adams' style is essentially science-fiction dipped into MontyPython. It is brisk, witty and particularly funny to many programmer/engineer types because it the type of oddball humor that consists of byzantine and unabashed transparently fallacious reasoning, odd juxtapositions and characters that are more or less unaware of them, or choose to ignore them whimsically in a way that many of us knowledge workers, perhaps unconsciously, wish that we could when we are not writing run on sentences. Escapism for neophiles and people required to think too much.

More recently the SalmonOfDoubt (see also TheSalmonOfDoubt) has been published, which contains what seems to be what would have been the third DirkGently story. Had it been finished. Or maybe not. There was some discussion of using it to complete the Trilogy. -- GarryHamilton

I'm currently (1999) reading a non sci-fi of his: TheLongDarkTeatimeOfTheSoul. Hilarious! -- MichaelFeathers (includes the DirkGentlyNavigationMethod -- DavidSaff)

My personal favorite is DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency, which introduces the hero of TheLongDarkTeatimeOfTheSoul, and includes some whimsical observations of the commercial software industry of the mid-80's that have stuck with me for some time. -- DavidSaff

Douglas Adams also wrote LastChanceToSee, a non-fiction book which is partly a travelogue, but mostly about endangered species. It manages to be both funny and shocking by showing the sheer stupidity of mankind. Anyway, it's a great book. -- FalkBruegmann

A related book is StarshipTitanic, which was written by Terry Jones (of MontyPython fame) and is based on the game of the same name, which was designed, written, and directed by DouglasAdams (but not, I expect, programmed by him).

And NeilGaiman wrote (or edited?) DontPanic, about DouglasAdams and his work.

See also: HitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy, DouglasAdamsQuotes, DirkGentlyNavigationMethod,

h2g2 used to have a handy WAP site, the only WAP site I actually used frequently. Now the BBC took over it's no more. -- LaurensPit (Note - H2G2 is available for mobiles again on - works fine in my WAP browser RS)

Oh no... not again !

Perfect! And just in the spirit I think Mr. Adams would have appreciated (to get this you have to know something of the thought life of a particular bowl of petunias).

I'm happy, I hope you're happy too

My favorite character (from LifeTheUniverseAndEverything):

WowbaggerTheInfinitelyProlonged was one of the Universe's very small number of immortal beings. After a (long) while, he grew to despise the Universe in general. In order to stave off TheLongDarkTeatimeOfTheSoul, he decided he would insult the Universe. He would insult everybody in it. Individually, personally, one by one, and... in alphabetical order.

And let's not forget the extremely great Infocom Text adventure version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy! Doug Adams worked on this with the Infocommies and it is a gas to play.

CategoryAuthor, CategoryScienceFiction

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